Less than 20 miles from Belfast lies Donaghadee and just 2 miles outside this seaside town you will find maybe one of the most diverse coastal walks in NI – Orlock Point.
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Only 5km long but once visited by Vikings and smugglers, its rich habitat is teeming with plants and wildlife, and the potential for seal or dolphin sightings make it an unmissable walk.
From the lay-by, which can hold up to a dozen cars, pass through a stile emblazoned with the National Trust logo. The path is very straightforward – just keep going until you see some steps. This leads you up to a large open farmland coastal area where you can take in great views of Copeland Island and even Scotland. Carry on over a stone stile, and the path will lead you down some steps, passing a rock archway.
From here you will notice a World War II lookout hut. Be sure to stop and enjoy the moment. Take in the scenery: birds, boats, people kayaking and maybe even one or two seals bobbing in the water!
Finally, you’ll arrive at Sandeel Bay – from here, you can either head back the way you came or go on to Sandeel Lane and from there on to the main road, but with its stunning beauty I suggest you double back and enjoy it all over again.
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Good trainers with a tread are recommended as it’s rocky in parts. This is a dog-friendly route that’s relatively flat, great for the casual walker. Cafes and public toilets are available in nearby Donaghadee or Groomsport.
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Also note at certain times of the year Orlock Point has been known to see the Northern Lights! Who needs to go to Iceland? You can find a guide to the NI aurora times and locations here.
Orlock Point is a headland located on the eastern coast of County Down, Northern Ireland. It is situated near the town of Donaghadee and overlooks the Irish Sea. The area is known for its stunning views of the sea and the nearby Copeland Islands, which are a popular destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
At Orlock Point, visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the coast, exploring the rugged coastline and spotting wildlife such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds. The area is also a popular spot for fishing and water sports, including kayaking and paddleboarding.
There is a car park at Orlock Point, as well as public toilets and picnic tables. The nearby town of Donaghadee offers a range of amenities, including shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Orlock Point is part of the Ulster Way, a long-distance walking trail that spans 625 miles across Northern Ireland. It is also situated near the Bangor Trail, a popular walking and cycling route that runs between Bangor and Newtownards.
Article kindly sponsored by Grattan’s Family Greengrocers & Fine Food Store.
About the author
Live in Donaghadee. Work in Finance NICS. Enjoy discovering new walks and sharing them with international friends living in NI, photography, travelling, good coffee, movies and spending time with family and friends.